With energy issues back in the headlines again, the city’s Energy Office is busy answering questions about energy conservation measures, and helping Berkeley residents and businesses comply with energy conservation regulations. Some questions, however, are of a broader nature and illustrate people’s growing interest and concern for just what all our energy consumption is doing to the planet.
To help shed some light on a few of these issues, take this quiz to test your energy impact knowledge.
Information was compiled from the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Energy, the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the World Watch Institute, and the California Energy Commission.
1. The average household uses _____ percent of their electricity for electric lighting:
2. A compact fluorescent lamp (bulb) use ____ less energy than an incandescent bulb with the same brightness:
3. Carbon dioxide (CO2 – a greenhouse gas) levels have increased by _____ percent since the Industrial Revolution (about 1785):
4. An average 32-gallon household trash container creates ____ pounds of CO2 equivalent:
a. 320 lbs.
b. 32 lbs.
c. 3.2 lbs.
5. Burning a single gallon of gasoline creates ____ CO2. :
a. 6 oz.
b. 20 lbs.
c. 12 oz.
6. The United States has about 4% of the earth’s population, and uses ____ of the world’s non-renewable energy resources (oil, natural gas, coal):
7. Every year the amount of heat energy lost through un-insulated homes in the U.S. is equivalent to:
a. two Super tankers of oil.
b. the amount of oil shipped through the Alaskan Pipeline for one year.
c. the amount of oil used in New Jersey for one heating season.
8. During 2001, Californians reduced their electric energy use by:
9. In its 7- to 10-year lifetime, a single compact fluorescent lamp will save approximately ___ in energy costs:
10. In one year, a leaky toilet wastes _____ gallons of water.
1: C, 40%. This number will decrease as more compact fluorescent lamps are used in homes.
2: B, 75% less energy, and therefore, cost 75% less to use.
3: B, 30%. Carbon dioxide is a significant contributor to global warming, which is related to the 4- to 10-inch rise in sea levels over the last century.
4.: A, 320 pounds of carbon dioxide-equivalent is produced from each 32 gallon can of household trash produced. To reduce your household trash, compost kitchen scraps and yard waste, recycle all paper, glass and cans, and avoid purchasing products with plastic packaging.
5: B, 20 lbs. of CO2 is produced from each gallon of gasoline. The overall effect is that the atmosphere will be burned off before all the world’s fossil fuels could ever be burned. To reduce the amount of gasoline you use, keep your vehicle well maintained, keep tires properly inflated, or avoid driving completely and use public transportation.
6: A, 25% The United States uses one-quarter of the earth’s available energy. We are the greatest consumers of energy, and therefore the greatest polluters.
7: B, the amount shipped annually through the Alaskan Pipeline. If homes were properly insulated with ceiling, wall and floor insulation, there would be a dramatic decrease in the amount of energy needed, and therefore less pressure to drill for oil in wilderness environments.
8: B, 12% less electricity was used in California overall in 2001. This value combines commercial, industrial and residential sectors.
9: C, $78.00 dollars can be saved for each compact fluorescent lamp used at current electricity rates. This amount would increase as rates increase.
10: C, 22,000 gallons of water are wasted each year by a single leaky toilet. Wasted water contributes to drought and electricity shortages, since water is used to produce hydroelectric power. A leak of just one drop per second will waste 2,400 gallons of water.
To learn more about energy costs and impacts, visit the city of Berkeley’s Energy Office Web site at www.ci.berkeley. ca.us/ENERGY.
A series of free energy lectures sponsored by the City and by the Energy Commission will be held on Mondays in February and March at the Berkeley Adult School, at the corner of University Ave and Bonar St. starting at 7 p.m. Please call 510-981-5435 or e-mail: energy@ci. berkeley.ca.us to reserve your space. Lecture topics are posted on the Energy Office Web site.
Alice La Pierre is an energy analyst for the City of Berkeley. This column appears as a public service on the first and third Tuesday of the month.